• Broadway Beat

We Spoke With the Actor Playing Sven in "Frozen" & He Just Kept Describing What the Suit Smells Like

by Ellie McKeown.

From film to stage, Disney’s Frozen has captured hearts around the world - owing a huge part of that charm to its wide cast of lovable, mystical characters. After catching the beloved Broadway adaptation earlier this year, we had the pleasure of sitting down with the young man who plays the aloof reindeer Sven, but even though we asked him a lot of different questions about the show and his performance, he just kept bringing up what the costume smells like on the inside.


Find the full interview below, but like we said, it’s mostly about the suit smell.


Broadway Beat: It’s great to have you here, thanks for taking the time! First and foremost - the puppet! How do you operate that thing?


Sven: Well, it’s just me in there, not two people, so I’m alone with the smell… And I’m on mini-stilts in a plank. It’s grueling.


Broadway Beat: Sorry, did you say smell?


Sven: Yes.


Broadway Beat: Okay… What’s your rehearsal process like?


Sven: I warm up and try not to think about the smell. But then of course, you think about it. I spend most of my time keeping fit. Disney even added a second actor so we never have to do a show twice in one day. I mean if we did, could you imagine? I don’t think I could handle it.


Broadway Beat: By “it” you mean… the smell?


At this point we must inform readers that Sven slowly nodded and then inched his chair incredibly close and is now within, what he calls in the business, “licking distance”.


Broadway Beat: Um... What was your reference when crafting the physicality?


Sven: My dog, Bella, now listen. You’d think they’d condition the fur, hang up pine trees… But no. The costume is so ripe, I have to go to a place called the “puppet corner”. Have you ever been to the “puppet corner”? No? Close your eyes and hold out your hand.


Sven then took our hands in his.


Sven: Imagine it. Imagine being tied around the plank of a ship. The rope is coarse, the hairs push into your skin. You can sense the end. You’re facing the endless ocean. Except it’s not an ocean. It’s the last ring of hell.


Broadway Beat: Please… no.


Sven: And the worst part…is the smell. It’s like hot garbage, like sulfurous rotten eggs, like rain... on your wedding day.


Broadway Beat: I’m so sorry.


Sven: You know… you’re about my height. Do you think reindeer are better than people?


Our team then abruptly ended the interview, but each of us still receive a nightly phone call from the young actor where only he speaks and, again, it’s mostly smell stuff.